>It’s Starting to SMELL a lot like Chrisstmas

>Well, I’m in the Chrisstmas mood already since the 1st of December. This is when we put up Chrisstmas decorations, start to think of buying Chrisstmas gifts, making Chrisstmas goodies and start sending out Chrisstmas Cards. I can tell you that we’ve done all of the above, but you can never get enough Chrisstmas goodies, so I’ve left a few more bits and pieces to pick up on closer to the date!

This is the start of our Chrisstmas festive lights we bought from the 1pound store in Truro (yay, it works!) around our little palm tree on our kitchen bar. It’s a small section but it feels right.
We started baking Chrisstmas cookies as gifts for our colleagues and friends last Saturday. We did a whole lot of ingredient shopping on Friday, started at 11am and finished at 8pm! I’m so glad it’s only once a year that we chose to do this – but then again there’s Chinese New Year coming up on the 3rd of Feb… that’s another story for another time. Let’s get through Chrisstmas first shall we? We were knackered by the end of the day.
In amongst the baking, stirring, folding, moulding, cutting and sifting, we managed some dinner. My husband has always wanted to try SUMO Sushi & Bento, so we did. I ordered the UME Sashimi and home blanched broccoli.
The order came with 3 slices each of salmon, tuna and snapper on a bed of daikon salad, side of wasabi, pink pickled ginger and soy sauce. It was yummy, fresh as it can be – with only a slight fishy taste to the snapper. The tuna and salmon were my favourite. This is actually my first try with sashimi and I like what I ate. I’m trying to fit sashimi into my Japanese palette!
My husband on the other hand went for the Chicken Katsu Curry. His favourite because Japanese curry isn’t hot/spicy at all. It came with a few slices of chicken katsu, some carrots and potato on a bed of white rice.
We added to it some left over briyani rice;
And some mixed seafood balls, baked for 20min in the oven. We enjoyed our meals because we’ve been working so hard, but then after 30min dinner break, we were back to it!
Oh and before I forget, amongst the Chrisstmas cooking/baking, we managed to roast some vegetables for my husband’s lunch for the week. I chopped up some onions, carrots, capsicums, mushrooms, eggplant, pumpkin and tomatoes, drizzled with olive oil and generous helpings of rosemary and oregano while I sent him out to get more butter!
This picture was taken AFTER we packed everything, this one is a few slices of the Date Oat Slice that was left over, we enjoyed it with Devon Custard – warmed up! YUM!!
So, lets start with our bakings; Date Oat Slice;
This is a collection of all the baking we saved for ourselves;
(clockwise) flapjack, shortbread, gingerbread heart, more shortbreads and date oat slices.
Our sliced up rocky road, the layers and colours turned out awesome! We made this one up ourselves, it had marshmallows, peanuts, raisins, dessicated coconut and melted chocolate all over. In the fridge overnight and voila! Classic NZ favourite sweet!
From the left, caramel shortbread and the rest are Gingerbread cookies, with star and flower cutters. I loved the smell of them when they were baking, it was Chrisstmas all over again, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg and ginger, just beautiful.
I couldn’t really take a proper picture of our little gift packs but I tried my best;
from the left the rocky road’s hidding;
on top are the caramel shortbread and gingerbread cookies;
bottom right is the date oat slice;
middle top is the Scottish shortbread;
middle bottom are the flapjacks and coconut ice.
15 little beautiful packs;
Close up of the layers, unfortunately the plastic was slightly frosted but you can see them and how they’re packed. Green and Red ribbons for a festive feel…
2 layered coconut ice (white and pink) and the unsliced date oat slice;
Another picture of the rocky road? What’s going on?
Sliced up Scottish Shortbread, this one was tricky as it was so crumbly. But thanks to my husband who made it with careful instructions, they turned out lovely! Crumbly, melt-in-your-mouth, smooth, rich and buttery Scottish Shortbread like it should be!
Caramel Shortbread and Flapjacks;
Closeup of Caramel Shortbread (thumbprints) minus the lemon curd!
What an experience, going through 8 recipes in one day! We left the bakings to settle overnight, munched, I mean taste tested them on Sunday and sliced and packed them on Monday. We were so tired after that but I was very happy with the way they turned out. My husband asked why? why? why did we decide to do this?! Poor thing… I enjoyed it though… Till the next festive season, I shall leave you salivating for my lovely bakings.
Oh by the way, there’s a few more on the baking list, Chrisstmas Cake (the mixed fruit has been soaking in rum for over 2months now), Chrisstollen with marzipan, a few fudge, slices and truffles to go? Chrisstmas Pudding… the list goes on and on. I want to make it all!
We’re still putting our Chrisstmas menu together, so watch this space. Do tell me what your menus are for Chrisstmas or what cookies/bakings you’ve done for Chrisstmas. Remember, I take orders! πŸ˜‰